freezer meals

Freezer Meals: Store Up Some Cold, Hard Savings

Freezer meals are becoming an increasingly popular way to save time. But did you know that they can also save you money? If you’ve ever thought about freezing your meals, here are some way to get the most out of your efforts.

What are freezer meals?

When we say freezer meals, we’re not talking about store-bought TV dinners that heat up in the microwave. These are home-cooked breakfasts, lunches and dinners that you make and store for later. A surprising variety of foods can be frozen to feed your family, including soups, sandwiches and casseroles. You can also freeze partial meals or ingredients for future courses.

Freezer cooking can save you time on decision-making and cleaning up. Some people will cook a month’s worth in one day, while others will simply double or triple a recipe and freeze the extra. Find the method that works best for you.

How do I save?

When dinner’s ready to go, you won’t grab grab some take-out on the way home after a busy day or when you just don’t feel like cooking. Plus, you’ll be eating healthier for less money. Freezer meal prep goes hand-in-hand with meal planning. By determining what you’re going to have beforehand and setting limits, it’ll mean less time at the store and fewer impulse buys. Freezer cooking also helps decrease the unplanned shopping trips that can kill your monthly budget.

Your frozen dishes can also be made with whatever’s on sale. Look for discounts on more expensive ingredients like meat and divide it into manageable portions before freezing. Buying in bulk can also generate savings and food that’s frozen doesn’t spoil as quickly.

Freezer cooking tips

Don’t do all of your shopping and cooking on one day—that would be exhausting. If you’re new to the process, start small with a handful of meals you can pull out when needed. And make sure to let the food cool off before you freeze it so that you don’t thaw out other items.

Air is your enemy when it comes to these meals—it’s what causes freezer burn. If you’re using gallon or quart-sized bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing them. Some people even use straws to create a vacuum in the container. And freeze things flat whenever possible so the bags stack easier.

Use labels with dates and descriptions. You’re less likely to eat a freezer meal if you don’t know what it is or how long it’s been in there. Keep things organized and maintain an inventory sheet, rotating through it regularly. These time & money-saving meals aren’t for long-term food storage, after all, they’re quick and easy sustenance solutions.

dads

More Financial Tips from Dads

We learned so much from last year’s post, so here’s another round of financial wisdom from local dads just in time for Father’s Day.

Tyler

Finances can be scary and intimidating if you don’t take the time to acquaint yourself with them. While sitting down each month and setting your budget doesn’t sound fun or enjoyable, it makes a big difference. The more you do it, the more comfortable you’ll become and the more confident you’ll be. Understanding your limitations is important, because it allows you to know your financial flexibility. Make a budget each month and push yourself to stick to it so you can reap the rewards down the road with a fun trip or exciting adventure.

Bob

Break down everything you’re looking to buy as wants and needs. At a young age, wants seem a lot more like needs, so you have to really separate your heart from the equation. Make sure your needs are met and you’ve got enough to fall back on, then you can let those wants have a little more room in your budget.

Cameron T.

It’s not what you make, it’s what you save. Live within your means. Invest early. Stay out of debt.

Jud

Don’t waste your money on worthless things. Work hard and earn your money. Make sure the things you buy are worth what it took to get them. Don’t spend everything, save something.

Brett

Money often costs too much. Be careful about what you are giving up to get it. Everything has a cost. Don’t spend money on something you don’t love at the store. The opportunity for wealth is often disguised in overalls and looks like hard work. Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant.

Kent

It’s just fine to be seen as the cheap friend. Once you’ve set that standard, it will be a running joke and it will be assumed that you’ll always be that way. You’ll save plenty of money. Once you save and build a foundation of financial security, be generous and pay it forward.

Cameron M.

Sound financial management can help you avoid a heavy burden. Decide what you want most, instead of what you want now.

Rick

Get out of debt and stay out of debt. Never spend money you don’t have. Put money aside for a rainy day. Don’t invest anything you can’t afford to lose. Don’t plan on an inheritance, but be grateful if you receive one. Don’t involve yourself in any get-rich-quick scheme, as they rarely do anything but put you in a worse position than you were before. It doesn’t matter what job you have or what it pays, as long as you can be disciplined to live on the wages.

check

The Write Way to Fill Out a Check

With today’s quick ways to pay, such as credit cards & online transfers, writing personal checks is like a lost art. However, on the rare occasion you need to use a paper check, here are some tips on how to do it correctly.

Date

Being consistent will help identify check fraud, should it ever arise. When it comes to dates, some people put the month first, while others use the day. To avoid confusion, spell out the month in that field. Also, double-check the year during the first few months of the year, when you’re still getting used to the date changing.

Payee

Use full names and avoid acronyms whenever possible. If the check is to more than person—a wedding gift, for example—put the preposition or between the names. If you write Jon Snow and Cersei Lannister as payees, both must endorse it. If you write Jon Snow or Cersei Lannister, then either party can. Also, if it’s for a soon-to-be-married couple, use the names from the invitation. Even if one spouse is going to take the other’s last name, that process may take a while. The same principle applies to children who don’t have accounts—write their names followed by or and the parent’s name so the check can be cashed. And always use a pen to prevent any unauthorized alterations.

Amount

The two amount fields confirm one another. For the number in the box, start at the far left and fill the entire space. Make clear distinctions between dollars and cents with decimals. Clearly spell out the intended amount. Add a horizontal line through any empty space at the end to prevent unauthorized additions. If you make a glaring error, write VOID in big letters across the entire check and start a new one.

Memo

It’s optional and mostly for your records. However, it can help you avoid payment disputes—if your landlord says you didn’t pay your rent in June, but you have a carbon copy of the check that reads June rent payment on the bottom, you’ll be in the right. If you have an account or invoice number with a utility company, putting it on the memo line will help connect the check and the payment stub if they get separated.

Signature

These have power, because a check isn’t valid until signed. Complete all other fields first and then write your signature when you’re ready to give it to the payee. With joint accounts, either party can sign. Once again, consistency will help prevent fraud.

America First raises close to $10,000 this April for TreeUtah

Riverdale, Utah – (Tuesday, June 5, 2018) – For the entire month of April, America First Credit Union asked members to take advantage of electronic statements instead of paper statements, and pledged to donate $1 for every paper statement canceled during the month to TreeUtah, a statewide non-profit organization devoted to ensuring the health of the ecosystems along Utah. America First is proud to announce they raised $9,767.00 throughout the campaign.

TreeUtah’s mission is to improve Utah’s quality of life for present and future generations by enhancing the environment through tree planting, stewardship and education. With the help of over 155,000 volunteers and donors around Utah like America First, they have planted more than 370,000 trees throughout the state.

Members who switched to the free eStatements now have a secure and easy way to view financial statements that become available on the fifth of every month. It’s an environmentally friendly option that gives them the freedom to see their financial data, anytime and anywhere.

For more information on America First Credit Union, visit www.americafirst.com, or follow America First on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest.

Photos attached:

Nicole Cypers, America First Credit Union PR and Community Outreach Manager presents a check for $9767.00 to Amy May, Executive Director for Tree Utah.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

With a long-standing history and more than 79 years servicing members, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 10th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $9.9 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 957,000 members.

reverse mortgage

Understanding a Reverse Mortgage

If you’re approaching retirement and find yourself with less cashflow than anticipated, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage. Home equity conversion mortgages have been around since the 80s, but have recently gained popularity as a way for senior citizens to supplement their income.

What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is essentially the opposite of a traditional home mortgage. Instead of paying principle & interest to a financial institution to gain equity, the bank or credit union gives the homeowner access to their equity without the obligations of a monthly payment.

How does it work?

A reverse mortgage allows an eligible homeowner to convert their home’s equity into cash. The amount which can be borrowed is dependent on the value of your home as well as the borrower’s age. You may choose to receive those funds as one lump sum, in monthly payments or as a line of credit, which you can draw from as needed.

Once a reverse mortgage is granted, the homeowner no longer needs to make monthly mortgage payments. Their primary obligations are to maintain the home and to pay property taxes and home owners insurance. The homeowner retains ownership until the home is no longer owner occupied for a year, the homeowner sells the home, or they pass away. The debt is paid from the future sale of the property. The heirs of the estate will never have to pay more than the value of the house.

What are the requirements?

You don’t need an amazing credit score to qualify for a home equity conversion mortgage. To qualify for this alternate stream of income, you must:

  • Be a homeowner
  • Be 62 years of age or older
  • Use the home as your primary residence
  • Have equity in the home
  • Continue to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance

Is a reverse mortgage right for me?

Reverse mortgages are intended for those who have substantial equity in their home and are in need of additional cashflow. They are also designed for people who have long-term plans to stay in their houses. To set up a consultation and find out if a reverse mortgage is right for you or a loved one, please call 1-866-224-2157.

Protecting Your Financial Health

When you choose Visa® from America First, you’ll have the best benefits, features & options.

Plus, you’ll get free identity theft recovery services, complete with:

  • Family protection plans
  • Document replacement
  • Dedicated case advocates

To learn more, click here.

Let Us Know Before You Go

It’s that time again—family vacations, outdoor getaways, maybe even the trip of a lifetime. And there’s no better way to pay than with your America First Visa® cards.

But before you leave, please inform us so we can protect your account.

Call 1-800-999-3961 or log in to free online banking to make a travel notification.

You can also visit us here for more information about protecting your finances.

America First and Altier Credit Unions Merge, Forming A Mutually Beneficial Partnership

By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer

I am pleased to officially announce the merger of Altier Credit Union of Tempe, Arizona and America First Credit Union. Following much thought and many discussions, it became clear that this partnership was an outstanding match in terms of culture, service ethic and strategy. Under the agreement, America First will be the continuing credit union.

Altier opened in 1947 as the Salt River Valley Water Users Association employee credit union. In 2006, it was re-named Altier and the field of membership expanded to include residents of Maricopa County, Arizona. The credit union enjoys a rich tradition of excellence; the merger’s mutual goal is keeping this legacy in place and building upon it, providing financial services that are second to none.

Altier has five branches in Arizona; three in the greater Phoenix area and one each in Page & St. Johns. These locations will benefit all members living in the state and will provide additional access to our world-class products and exceptional member service.

Other benefits of our cooperative partnership include anytime, anywhere access with free online and mobile banking, free online bill pay, mobile deposits, telephone banking and more. We also offer free checking, free nationwide ATM transactions, free educational seminars, free financial counseling, free credit scores, free document shredding events, as well as many financial calculators and budgeting tools. Additional information is available at americafirst.com or call 1-800-999-3961.

America First was founded in 1939 at Fort Douglas in Salt Lake City, when our membership numbered 59 and our assets stood at $25. We’re proud to have grown and flourished since then, becoming one of the nation’s strongest credit unions with stability, quality, and investment in technology among our top priorities.

Our continuing credit union is well-positioned for a bright, vibrant future and we’ll work diligently to earn your trust and support. Welcome to America First, where we look forward to a lifelong relationship with you and your family.

America First Credit Union Holds Free “Shred-Your-Stuff Saturday” this weekend

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

America First Credit Union Holds Free “Shred-Your-Stuff Saturday” this weekend
Shred Day held at multiple branches in Utah this Saturday, June 9

Riverdale, Utah – (Monday, June 4, 2018) Dedicated to providing services that enhance security and support financial well-being for its members, America First Credit Union will hold a free shred day this Saturday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to noon, or until the truck is full. Patrons may bring financial documents and personal information for shredding at no cost to any one of the following branch locations:

Harrisville Branch
358 North Harrisville Rd.
Harrisville, UT 84404

Kaysville Branch
1302 W 200 N.
Kaysville, UT 84037

Lehi Branch
1238 East Timpanogos Highway
Lehi, UT 84043

Providence Macey’s Branch
50 North Highway 165
Providence, UT 84332

West Jordan Branch
7451 South Campus View Drive
West Jordan, UT 84084

Each individual is allowed up to five (5) boxes of materials at a time for shredding. Those with more than five will have the first set shredded and must then get back in line for further service.

For more information, visit americafirst.com, or follow America First Credit Union on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

With a long-standing history and more than 79 years servicing members, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 10th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $9.9 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 957,000 members.

 

Media Contact: 
America First Credit Union
Nicole Cypers
C: 801-726-9480
ncypers@americafirst.com

Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
Tara Trovato
702-800-7803
tara@quillinlv.com

America First branch to welcome new manager

For Immediate Release:

America First branch to welcome new manager
Justin Garrett takes on new role at Bountiful Smith’s Service Center

Riverdale, Utah – (Tuesday, May 29, 2018) – America First Credit Union would like to congratulate Justin Garrett on being selected as the new service center manager of the Bountiful Smith’s branch.

Garrett began his career with America First in September 2012 as a teller at the Bountiful Dick’s branch and was promoted to the backup lead teller one year later at the North Salt Lake Winegar’s branch. He later served as the service center lead teller, and in May 2015, Garrett transferred to the Clearfield Kent’s branch. Garrett has been serving in his current role as the market branch assistant manager of the Bountiful branch since March 2016 and is being promoted to service center manager effective Monday, May 28.

The Bountiful Smith’s branch is located inside the Smith’s Food & Drug at 555 S 200 W, Bountiful, Utah. Branch hours are 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

For more information, visit www.americafirst.com. Find America First Credit Union on Facebook and Twitter or follow @AmericaFirst on Instagram and Pinterest.

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ABOUT AMERICA FIRST CREDIT UNION

With a long-standing history and more than 79 years servicing members, America First has become one of the largest, most stable and most progressive credit unions in the country, and has remained a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative financial institution. Today, America First has 130 locations, and is the 10th largest credit union in assets in the United States with over $9.9 billion, and the sixth largest credit union in membership in America with more than 957,000 members.

Media Contact:

America First Credit Union
Nicole Cypers
C: 801-726-9480
ncypers@americafirst.com

Tara Trovato
Quillin Advertising, Public Relations & Social Media
D: 702-800-7803
C: 702-286-6272
tara@quillinlv.com